Showing posts from 2016

No-bake Cookies

I'm afraid I'm going to lose this recipe. For this reason, I decided I would take some pictures and write it down here.

In a large pot on the stove top, combine the sugar, butter, milk, vanilla, and cocoa. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low.

Add peanut butter, stir until melted. 
Add oats.  Stir until mixed.  Remove from heat and drop onto wax or parchment paper.  Size of cookies will be determined by how big a spoonful is dropped.
Allow to cool and harden.

2016 Reading Challenge Overview

In January I posted about my 2016 Reading Goals.

This is a check-in to see how I did.  If you didn't click on the link above, here's a brief summary of the goals:  
1) I wanted to read my own damn books in an effort to reduce the TBR shelf.

2)  Read some of the Kindle Freebies I've downloaded.

So, there's the recap.  Here's the progress made....
Item #1:  I have read quite a few books that I owned prior to 2016.  Looking through my Goodreads challenge widget, these titles meet the requirement. 

Item #2: There were only a few books that fit into this category.  Not nearly as many as there should have been, though, as I am a compulsive downloading fool in the Kindle bookstore.  

Item #3:

As you can see I didn't finish a book my mom loves, which would be the Bible.  I tried.  I made decent progress into the Old Testament before I got distracted by, well, everything else.  Then I forgot I was challenging myself to read the entire thing and never went back.

I al…

Summer Fun

Ken and I have been camping quite a bit this summer.  While this isn't unusual for us, what is strange is that most of our camping has been as a couple instead of as a family.  The boys rarely want to spend a weekend away from home.  Home is where the PS4 streams Call of Duty and where the friends and girlfriends are easily accessible.  Home is parent-free.

I remember reaching that age and enjoying those brief flashes of independence that did not come with a home owner's responsibilities.  I often opted to stay home, too, when my parents wanted to go away for a weekend or even a week, so I don't blame the boys for wanting to stay behind now.  I do miss them, though, and am saddened by the knowledge that their weekends away from us are precursors to a more permanent form of independence.  It's the first, yearning step toward autonomy. 
Not that I expect either of them to move out and get their own place any time soon.  Gage is only going to be a sophomore in high school…

Review: Black Light by Martha J. Allard

Black Light by Martha J. Allard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hmm..what to say? The writing was beautifully done, the characters compelling, and the plot interesting. As I read, I found myself reliving a bit of my teenage years where parachute pants and big hair bands helped shape my fashion and music preferences. Although I enjoy a great deal of today's music, I must admit sometimes I just need my Def Leppard, Poison, or Motley Crue fix. (Thankfully, I've not had the urge to don parachute pants outside of playing dress up for the local 80s Festival.)

Black Light did an admirable job of imagining the lifestyles of an upstart band rocketing to fame. There were drugs and alcohol, outrageous outfits and larger-than-life behavior. There was also a great deal of tragedy. The moments of joy were fleeting and hard-won, and often overshadowed by the emotional battlefields the band members and their lovers traversed.

One little warning for the lover of in-your-face paranormals, though. The …

He Did It!

Over the last couple of weeks, we've been busy working around the house.  Well, I should clarify, Ken and the boys have been busy stripping and re-staining the front porch and back deck, tearing up flower beds and reloading them with more workable soil, and, finally, planting or transplanting flowers and a tree.

Meanwhile, in the house, I've been working on a slideshow and scrapbooks.  I know there's no way I will get the scrapbook done in time, but I hope I can at least come close.  I have this weekend and all of next week to work on these two rather time-consuming projects.  
Why the rush?  Well, KC's graduation party (a.k.a. open house) is quickly approaching.  Yes, that's right.  We're throwing the boy a party because he graduated high school!  

It wasn't always an easy road to travel.  KC had his fair share of struggles, some legitimate and some manufactured by his own inattention to detail.  I can't tell you the number of times he would complete h…

Book Review: Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders

My Rating:  5 Stars
Goodread's Average Rating:  3.78 Stars

Here's how I use the five star rating feature on Goodreads:

1 star = I seriously disliked this book.  I may not have even finished it.

2 stars = Eh. This book left me feeling rather ambivalent and I'm not even sure why I read it.

3 stars = While I may not have liked everything about this book, I still found a good deal of pleasure in reading it.  I might even recommend it to a friend or family member if I think they'd enjoy it.

4 stars = Sure, there may be a few things that I found problematic, but there's so much I loved about this book that it just didn't matter!  It's characters were interesting, the plot was sound, and/or it offered me a welcome escape from reality.  I am already thinking about who else should read this book and how I can convince them of it.  It's also being added to the keeper shelf.

5 stars = I love this book.  It's heading directly to the keeper shelf and likely wi…

What Happens in Vegas...Ends Up in My Camera Roll

The last time Ken and I went with another group of people to Vegas it was back in 2005.  We arrived that year on Ken's birthday, which means he did considerable liver damage that day as everyone kept buying him drinks.  It all started with a champagne tower as soon as the plane touched down.

That was a great trip.  We had so much fun and made memories that will last a lifetime.  We saw a pair of amazing Prince impersonators.  We found out taking the cheapest of the public transportation options could result in being stranded on a bus that had the unfortunate luck to be the victim of beer bottle projectiles; luckily, we had our very own medical professional who professed that someone in our group was having a medical emergency and needed to be let off the bus immediately.  We learned that Terrible's (or was it Horrible's) was not as close as the map made it appear - we should have worn hiking boots for that little excursion!  
Yes, it was fun.  There are so many memories f…

A Brief Book Review

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An excellent start

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy. I think Atwood is a genius storyteller who is able to take modern concerns and see them through to their darkest ends. The world of Snowman (Jimmy), Oryx, and Crake is frightening and fascinating, a place of marvels and unimaginable horrors.

View all my reviews

Too Many Reading Commitments?

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love books.  I am never without one.  At home, I have shelves of to-be-read titles.  On my Kindle I have an ever-growing multitude - so many freebies! With the Kindle Cloud Reader, I can access my e-books from my phone or iPad, which are always within arms reach.

To say I read a lot is not an exaggeration.  If I had to provide a very unscientific average of the number of books I read in a year, I'd say it's somewhere around 50.  That's something like four books a month.  And that's in a slow year.  There have been years when I've read closer to 75 books.  
Imagine how many books would be read if I'd give up television!
Last night, for example, I might have caught up to my co-readers of the MaddAddam trilogy if I hadn't decided to watch the X-Files and then Castle with the family.  My decision to veg on the couch for those two hours seriously cut into my reading, which left me conflicted because Oryx and Crake, the f…

My Latest Addiction

I've always enjoyed playing video games.  I remember fighting with my brothers for my fair share of playing time with our rather limited Atari collection.  I don't even remember the games.  PacMan, maybe.  Space Invaders.  Centipede.  Pong.

I don't quite remember the year we got the Atari system, but I'm thinking I had to have been anywhere between ten and thirteen.  In my memories, my brothers are young.   They're sitting in the dining room, chairs in front of the small tv my dad had let us hook the thing up to.  The big TV in the living room was reserved for his viewing pleasure.  
At least, these are what my rather diminished memories recall.  My brother, BJ, has an elephant's memory and can likely paint a more complete picture, but I'm not about to call him and ask.  We'll just go with I was young and we had a small collection of games we all like to play.

As we grew and technology advanced we were lucky enough to get a Nintendo.  Mostly, when I th…

In Which I Think I Might Join the Booktube Community

I think I do enough talking in the video that there's really no need for me to expound upon this decision any further.

Reading Goals for 2016

Yes, it's another post about books!

The only people who won't find this dreadfully boring are the other book lovers out there.  Although, let's be honest, they might be bored by this, too, because I'm going to be talking about my reading goals and not theirs.  
Oh well and onward...
I've got a couple of different reading goals this year that will all feed into meeting my overall Goodreads goal, which is to read 75 books in 2016.  I'm rather impressed with the fact that it's not even a full week into 2016 and I already have two books counted toward this goal (arguably four as one of the texts was a three-in-one deal that contained an entire trilogy, but whatever). 
2016 Reading Challenge Krista has read 2 books toward her goal of 75 books. hide 2 of 75 (2%) view books
So there's the overall goal.  Seventy-five books.

The other reading goals that I've set for myself this year will feed into collective pool.  The first is the #ReadMyOw…